Rose Canyon Lake: Fishing, Camping, & More!

Rose Canyon Lake in Tucson

There may be times when you may want to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life to better enjoy the great outdoors. Luckily, if you ever find yourself in this situation, there are a myriad of relaxing outdoor activities in Tucson that you can partake in which include local attractions, hiking, horseback riding and more!

When you’re looking to get some fresh air and would like to spend time among nature, you may want to consider visiting Rose Canyon Lake, which is a beautiful lake in Tucson that’s perfect for trout fishing, camping with family and friends, or simply relaxing and enjoying the surrounding Tucson scenery. The lake also has close proximity to the suburbs of the Catalina Foothills in Tucson, which means that you’ll have easy access to the lake if you’ve purchased a home in the foothills. Since the Rose Canyon Lake is just a short drive from anywhere in the city, you can enjoy the spectacular Tucson outdoors no matter where you live!

Rose Canyon Lake in Tucson

Rose Canyon Lake & Map

The Rose Canyon Lake is a beautiful 6-acre lake that’s primarily meant to play host to trout fishing. The lake is surrounded by clumps of trees and has a natural forest setting to it despite the fact that it’s considered to be an urban lake. The lake itself is situated around 7,000 feet above ground within the Santa Catalina Mountains, which means that you’ll have amazing views of your surroundings while fishing at this lake.

The lake is also found towards the top of Mount Lemmon, which itself boasts the highest peak in the Santa Catalina Mountains. Because of its location, the Rose Canyon Lake is just nearby numerous hiking trails and other scenic destinations that you can use for bird watching, exploring, and other exciting outdoor activities. If you enjoy fishing and spending time outdoors, the Rose Canyon Lake is a great place to visit with family and friends. The hiking trail that leads around the edge of the water provides numerous opportunities for spotting wildlife and taking photographs. While fishing is the main attraction at this destination, it’s certainly not the only one you can enjoy at this peaceful getaway.

Rose Canyon Lake Map

The Rose Canyon Lake is also popular because of its placement within the Santa Catalina Mountains and close proximity to the Catalina Foothills and the city center of Tucson, which makes it an easy getaway for the entire family or a group of friends. A large campground with numerous amenities can also be found close by, which gives you the ability to stay for a lengthier period of time when visiting the lake. When you visit this link, you’ll find a map towards the bottom of the page, which comes with zoom functionality allowing you to explore all the lake has to offer. The Rose Canyon Lake map displays markers for the location of the lake as well as a couple of amenities that you might want to know how to get to. If you zoom out on the map somewhat, you’ll be able to see the exact roads that need to be taken to arrive at your destination. Consider mapping out your drive to the lake before you take off on your trip.

Fishing at Rose Canyon Lake

Rose Canyon Lake Fishing

The Rose Canyon Lake is considered to be among the best lakes in and around Tucson because of its ample fishing options. Although the lake is relatively small, it’s regularly stocked with substantial numbers of fish, which ensures that the lake is well-stocked at all times. Rainbow trout and similar species of fish are released into the lake around once per month from April to August, which should give you confidence that the stock will never be too low when you want to go fishing. Numerous types of catfish and sunfish are also placed in the lake on a regular basis. Some of the other species of fish that you might reel in while on the lake include northern pike, walleye, bass, carp, bullhead, and crappie.

When you’re thinking about going fishing at the Rose Canyon Lake, consider visiting the campground store that’s located around a mile away from the lake. This store is usually open between Thursday and Sunday, during which you’ll be able to find all of the bait, tackle, fishing licenses, and fishing poles that you need for your adventure. The store also contains numerous grocery items, tarps, camp supplies, and ponchos that should account for any need you have during your trip. Before you go fishing, you’ll need to purchase a fishing license. These fishing licenses are relatively inexpensive and are available on a yearly basis. Keep in mind that fishing licenses are not required for any anglers below the age of 10. These licenses will also give you access to other fishing destinations throughout Arizona.

While the campground at this lake is open all throughout the day, the lake itself is only open for fishing in daylight hours. The main types of fishing techniques that are typically performed at the Rose Canyon Lake include bank fishing, casting, and fly fishing, the latter of which has proven particularly beneficial for catching trout. While this lake offers great opportunities for fishing from April to October, the best time for fishing would likely be in the fall. It’s at this time that the fish are most active as the water begins to cool down. If you want to heighten your chances of catching a fish or two, the months of September and October would be your best bets. Because of the fantastic setting of this lake, there are numerous logs that have been downed around the edges of the lake, which make for fantastic seats when you’re going fishing.

Rose Canyon Lake Hours & Access

If you’re thinking about visiting the Rose Canyon Lake, the lake and the campground surrounding it are open from early April until late October every year. When you want to book a single campsite at the lake, you’ll be able to book the campsite within six months of traveling to the destination. For instance, booking on April 10 means that you’ll be able to schedule your trip on any date between April 10 and October 10. However, group campsites are available on a 12-month booking period, which allows you to schedule your trip a year in advance when traveling with a larger party.

When you’re traveling to the lake solely for fishing purposes as opposed to camping, parking at the lake costs around $10 per day. You could also purchase an annual parking pass for $60. You can access the lake by taking the paved road from the Rose Canyon Campground. By taking this road, you’ll eventually happen upon a small parking lot. Once you’ve parked your car, the lake is a very short drive away, which means that you won’t need to carry your fishing gear too far. While larger boats aren’t allowed on the lake, very small boats and canoes can be taken out on the water as long as you have enough flotation devices in the boat.

Since the Rose Canyon Lake is considered to be an urban lake, there are an array of restrictions that you’ll need to keep in mind when scheduling a visit there. If you’re thinking about traveling to the lake with an RV, there are no hook-ups available at the site, which means that you’ll need to leave the campsite to find a sewer connection. The Arizona game and fish regulations apply to this lake, which primarily means that you’ll need to have a license to fish at this lake. There are also daily limits for how much fish you can catch, all of which can be found here. For instance, you can only catch six trout of any combination per day. On the other hand, you can catch 10 striped bass per day and an unlimited number of sunfishes.

Other restrictions to remember before you begin your trip to the lake include the fact that you can’t go swimming or camping at the lake. The main campground for this lake is just nearby if you’re thinking about staying there for a couple of nights. All dogs must be on a leash and any trash should be placed in one of the numerous trash bins that are situated around the lake. Small motor homes, tents, and trailers up to 22 feet are permitted at the lake. With this information in hand, you should be prepared for your visit to the Rose Canyon Lake.

Camping at Rose Canyon Lake

Rose Canyon Campground

When you want to spend more than a day at the Rose Canyon Lake, the nearby Rose Canyon campground can provide you with everything you need for a memorable camping trip. Because of its location on the slopes of the Santa Catalina Mountains, the Rose Canyon campground is a great place to go camping when you’re searching for a destination with beautiful and picturesque scenery. Whether you’re visiting this area for fishing or to spend time among nature, this campground allows you to enjoy the outdoors in a number of ways. Just beside the campground is a fantastic 1.5-mile hiking trail that will allow you to view the scenery and wildlife in an up-close manner. This trail leads around the lake, which gives you a large variety of places to stop by for fishing or to take a few pictures. Overlooking the main campground are numerous ponderosa pine trees that provide plenty of natural shade to keep you comfortable on even the hottest days of the year.

When you’re looking to camp at the Rose Canyon campground, there are 74 single-unit sites that are available at any given time. Since you’re able to book your site six months in advance, it’s recommended to do so sooner rather than later to ensure that you’re able to find a spot. There are also a couple of areas that can be reserved for larger groups. While RVs can use these campgrounds, hook-ups aren’t available. Throughout the camping site, you’ll find that there are numerous picnic tables and fire grills as well as water fountains and restrooms. Larger shelters are positioned at the group camping areas.

When you want to go fishing or sightseeing around the lake, you’ll need to walk around one mile before arriving at the lake. While this is a somewhat lengthy distance, it ensures that the campground is quiet when other anglers are using the lake. The camping fees for the Rose canyon campground are around $22 per vehicle for each night you spend there. A vehicle is considered to be up to six people. The cost of adding other vehicles to your campsite is set to $9 per vehicle.

Learn more about Tucson and the surrounding area

Whether you’re a resident of Tucson with enthusiasm for the great outdoors or you’re just looking to get away, Rose Canyon Lake is the perfect destination for some peace and quiet accompanied by spectacular Tucson scenery! If you’re looking to find a home in Tucson and are just getting to know the wonderful city, contact us today and we’ll be more than happy to assist you with your home buying or selling journey!